DTI to import rice through PITC, undercut NFA price by P5 per kilo
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) through its attached corporation, the Philippine International Trading Corporation (PITC), will import rice, Malacañang announced Monday.
“Pagdating po sa bigas, ang mabuting balita, DTI na po ang mag-i-import ng bigas at hindi lamang commercial rice ang i-import nila,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a Palace press briefing.
Roque said DTI would import 25 percent broken long grain white rice and would sell it at P27 per kilo or P5 lower compared to selling price of National Food Authority (NFA).
“So hindi na po tayo aasa sa NFA at iyan po ay napakabuting balita dahil kumbaga binasag natin iyong monopoliya ng NFA doon sa desisyon kung kailan mag-aangkat ng bigas, lalung-lalo na iyong murang bigas (So we will no longer rely on NFA and that’s the good news because we broke the NFA monopoly on the decision when to import rice, especially cheap rice),” he said.
Roque, a former law professor at the University of the Philippines, explained that there’s nothing in the law that created PITC which prevents it from engaging in the importation.
“Because DTI sat in the NFA Council, it dealt with NFA. Pero (But) there is nothing in the law that created PITC that prevents it from importing at ginagawa na nga po iyan ng DTI ngayon (and DTI is doing it now),” he said.
The DTI has reportedly sought authorization to import an additional 150,000 metric tons of rice or three million bags of rice under government-to-government scheme.
“NFA does not have the monopoly, that is why we have PITC,” Roque said. (PNA)